A sense of belonging is intrinsic to all of our happiness and fulfillment. With this in mind, the Rauch Foundation debuted the Imagine Awards gala in 2001, with a goal of celebrating those who work to create a community where everyone belongs on behalf of people with disabilities in our community. To date, Rauch has been proud to celebrate the contributions of 45 individuals, businesses, and organizations across the Southern Indiana and Louisville Metro region.
On March 5, 2016, the event will celebrate the inspiring deeds of three more local individuals and organizations who make dreams come true. Nominations are currently being accepted at www.rauchinc.org/imagine. This elegant and uplifting evening will be held in the Showroom at Horseshoe Southern Indiana, complete with an expansive silent auction, delectable meal, and professional entertainer.
This year, Rauch will treat attendees to the amazing voice and vibrant personality of season three The X-Factor finalist Rion Paige. As a contestant on the television show, 13-year-old songstress Rion bounced (quite literally) into millions of homes—ultimately blowing away the judges with her cover of Carrie Underwood’s “Blown Away.” Judge Simon Cowell effused, “Rion, I think you are literally extraordinary!” He went on to compare Paige to Underwood and predicted the same stardom for Paige.
While mesmerizing the crowd and judges, Paige’s life-long disability, arthrogryposis multiplex congenital a rare disorder that causes a curving of the joints), was merely an afterthought. Paige’s joints formed differently, resulting in hands that make it difficult to perform everyday tasks. The girl with boundless energy explains, “I just have to learn to do things differently.”
One thing she didn’t have to do differently was sing. It was clear that she had a talent that far exceeded children of her age. Her parents made every effort to nurture her gift and jumped at the chance for her to showcase her talent on The X-Factor’s national stage.
Her journey on The X-Factor ended with a Top Five finish, and Nashville music executives began calling. 2015 brought the “big move” from her hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, to Nashville for Paige and her family. Paige is recording her debut album with producer David Huff (The Doobie Brothers, The Band Perry, Lady Antebellum), which will be released soon.
The 2015 Imagine Awards raised over $40,000 after expenses. These proceeds are invested in the Rauch Foundation and create change in the lives of over 1,000 children and adults with intellectual, developmental, and other disabilities in our community each year through the many programs of Rauch, Inc.